Sleep is a Good Investment
Are you feeling overwhelmed or fatigued? If so, you may not be getting enough sleep. Sleep is essential to having a quality of life. Without rejuvenating overnight, our bodies experience more sensitivity to pain and stress. Even petty problems get blown out of proportion when fatigue is overwhelming the senses. Sleep is the greatest weapon against all that you will face on a day to day basis. So why not invest in a better night’s sleep today?
Need a new mattress?? Even if it is new, you may not have chosen the right one for your body. A good mattress is expensive. However, remember, you spend 365 nights per year on it. If you are willing to spend $2000 on a flat screen television which does not do anything for your body, not to mention your mind, why not spend a few extra hundred dollars to get a new mattress. If you really want the best mattress, you’ll need to move away from the usual spring mattress. Those that suffer with spine pain should really consider upgrading to a foam mattress like the TempurPedic Cloud. Foam mattress form-fit to your curves, instead of you contorting to fit a flat surface. Those that are particularly sensitive to chemicals or have conditions like fibromyalgia or chronic headaches should really consider an organic mattress that does not off-gas chemicals from the polyester, polyurethane, or synthetic latex. LifeKind makes a very high quality organic mattress. If you are waking up in pain, suffering from overwhelming fatigue, or not sleeping well, invest in a good mattress. You’ll be glad you did.
After purchasing a quality mattress, you might want to invest in a set of good pillows. Yes, pillows make a big difference also because they help to support your sleep posture. Head, neck and shoulder support requires a good, thick pillow for side-sleepers. The pillow should be as thick as the distance between the tip of your shoulder to the crook of your neck. A pillow that is too thin or collapses will leave you with a kink in your neck or a very sore shoulder. Another pillow worth purchasing is a body pillow. This body-length pillow provides a place to arms which otherwise reach for the mattress. Additionally, this full length pillow prevents your spine from twisting in the middle of the night, improving your sleep posture. Yes, pillows are a very good investment for your sleep future.
Once you have all the materials for a better night sleep, you now need to invest the time. Good habits that improve your sleep include a period of time to unwind and relax before bed. During this time, you can drink tea, read an enjoyable book, or take a soothing bath. Going to bed earlier is also a good time investment because most people do not get enough sleep. Adding one to two hours of sleep to your night could make a huge difference in how you feel, and in how you react to stress. All these sleep habits take time and commitment, but sleep is worth the investment.
This investment can prevent pain. Research shows that even one night of sleep deprivation can cause an increased sensitivity to pain (1) and an increased amount of anxiety. That sleep impairments experienced today predict a risk of chronic pain in the future (2). Sleep is as essential as food and water for life. You need a good mattress, good pillows and good sleep habits for a good night sleep. If you are looking for ways to improve your quality of life, start by investing in your sleep.
Pain. 2013 Sep;154(9):1613-21
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Christina Lasich, M.D., wrote about chronic pain and osteoarthritis for HealthCentral. She is physiatrist in Grass Valley, California. She specializes in pain management and spine rehabilitation.